Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Founder and Artistic Director | Jim Bredeson, Managing Director) today announced the cast for their tenth annual festival of 10-minute plays of heightened language and classic themes, featuring two brand new commissions from Jeremy O. Harris and Theresa Rebeck, alongside six brand new plays that have been selected from hundreds of open submissions from playwrights across the country. This year’s winning playwrights are Ben Beckley, Avery Deutsch, Leah Maddrie, Jessica Moss, Matthew Park, and Mallory Jane Weiss. The theme for this year’s festival is Private Lives, inspired by Noël Coward’s classic comedy. The evening will also include short interviews with the playwrights and host Craig Baldwin.
Mêlisa Annis, Vivienne Benesch and Em Weinstein will direct a cast that features Ali Ahn (Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap), Frankie J. Alvarez (“Looking”), Tony Award Nominee Kathleen Chalfant (Angels in America, Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement), Tony Award Nominee Lilli Cooper (Tootsie, SpongeBob SquarePants, Spring Awakening), Drama Desk Nominee Edmund Donovan (Greater Clements, Lewiston/Clarkston), William Jackson Harper (NBC’s “The Good Place,” All the Way), Louisa Jacobson (Julian Fellowes’ HBO series “The Gilded Age”), Drama Desk Award Winner Peter Francis James (Stuff Happens, Edward Albee’s The Lady from Dubuque opposite Dame Maggie Smith in London and Jane Alexander off-Broadway), and Tony Award Nominee Charlayne Woodard (Ain’t Misbehavin’, Red Bull’s Witch of Edmonton).
The 2020 Short New Play Festival will be presented online on Monday, July 20th (7:30pm) by livestream through RedBullTheater.com, Facebook, and Youtube. This FREE benefit event is the latest installment of Red Bull’s renowned annual new play festival, an initiative that has inspired the composition of more than 2,500 new plays.
The 10th Annual Short New Play Festival is made possible by the leadership support of The Noël Coward Foundation.
This year’s premieres will include:
Fear And Misery Of The Master Race (of the Brecht) by Jeremy O. Harris
The Panel by Theresa Rebeck. At a theater panel on “Private Lives” things go very quickly off the rails.
Outside Time, Without Extension Ben Beckley. Over the course of ten minutes–a couple’s entire private lifetimes of joy, anxiety, pain, hope, love, and literature.
Old Beggar Women by Avery Deutsch. Amanda and Sibyl from “Private Lives” reunite years later on another pair of balconies and bond over an unlikely talent they both share.
Love-Adjacent, or Balcony Plays by Leah Maddrie. Middle-aged African-American former high-school sweethearts reunite unexpectedly on adjoining hotel balconies-in rhyming couplets!
In the Attic by Jessica Moss Edmond has been keeping a terrible secret from his wife. In the attic.
Plague Year by Matthew Park. It’s Medieval England and the bubonic plague rages as young Mabel quarantines inside her London home with her newborn daughter and her boorish husband Thomas.
Evermore Unrest by Mallory Jane Weiss. On her honeymoon and confined to her hotel room, Penny writes to her ex-boyfriend, William, with questions about love, choice, health, and safety during times of unrest.
The six winning plays were chosen by a panel of judges and readers that included Wendy Anderson, Craig Baldwin, Casey Beidel, Vinny Capluzzi, Christian Conn, Kelley Curran, Kareem Fahmy, Kate Hamill, Eleanor Holdridge, Alyssa Jaffe, Mia Katigbak, Anchuli Felicia King, Andrus Nichols, Matthew Rauch, Kate Walat, and Jose Zayas. Each play was read (all blind) and scored no less than three times by three different readers. The 20 finalists selected were then read and scored an additional four times (all blind) by the producing and directing panel of Craig Baldwin, Vivienne Benesch, Jesse Berger, and Em Weinstein.
Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival has generated over 2,500 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting over 72 of them in a one-night only Festival performance with some of New York’s finest actors and directors. In its first eight years, the commissioned playwrights have Marcus Gardley, John Guare, David Ives, Ellen McLaughlin, Dael Orlandersmith, Anne Washburn, Doug Wright and winning entries by writers such as Anchuli Felicia King, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman. Stage Rights has published a 4-volume collection of the plays from the first 8 years of Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival as RED BULL SHORTS.
For more information about the Short New Play Festival, or any of Red Bull Theater’s programs, visit www.redbulltheater.com.